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Years after production heavyweights like Timbaland and The Neptunes paved the way for talent to come out of the state of Virginia, Missy Elliot, Skillz and the Clipse broke down the rest of the barriers artists like Fam*Lay to rock the mic. After appearing on The Neptunes Present'¦Clones, record labels were on his trail after hearing 'Rock 'N Roll' and shortly after Fam signed a joint deal with Star Trak/Def Jam. Hailing from Norfolk, VA, Fam*Lay is hard at work on his debut album which is due out in early 2004. MusicRemedy.com had a chance to catch up with Fam*Lay as he prepares to make his moniker and hometown a household name.
MusicRemedy.com: First of all, how'd you hook up with The Neptunes?
Fam*Lay: I liked up with them 'cause I was introduced to Pharrell in my neighborhood, you know, he used to come out there. He knew me like that, I was a little kid runnin' around. And a few years later he came around and at that time I was rhyming and he was like 'yo' I heard you rap' so I was like 'yeah''¦So I rapped for him and he was like 'yo' you need to start coming to the studio'. I used to come around(the studio) and he used to shop me around to different people. He ended up getting a label and so now I'm with him.
MR: Ok, so now you're signed to Star Trak/Def Jam?
FL: Yeah, it was a joint venture. But um, we just felt it was better for me to be over there(Def Jam).
MR: When's the album dropping and what's it called?
FL: It comes it in March of 2004 and it's called Trainango.
MR: What's the name Fam*Lay mean?
FL: It's just like a phrase we use at home, in Virginia(Norfolk), we call everybody famlay'¦You know, like 'yo' famlay whattup mane?'.
MR: I know Lil' Flip's on the album, who else is on it?
FL: I got Kelis, Lil Jon & Tha Eastside Boyz, Roscoe, Jae Millz, T.I., you know, a lot of new talent.
MR: You're from Norfolk, VA'¦How has the hiphop scene changed-if it's changed at all?
FL: I think we came with The Neptunes and people are starting to take us more serious. I'm hearing more groups, and more people coming out.
MR: What were you doing before you got signed?
FL: Uh, right before I got signed I was hustlin' on the streets.
MR: What do you hope to establish with this album?
FL: Hopefully I can just give us a place in the hiphop world and kind of let people know about Norfolk, VA kind of like what Nelly did with St. Louis.
MR: How would you describe your music or your sound?
FL: It sounds like old school but it's refreshing. It's different already 'cause like I said, people never heard of Norfolk, VA.
MR: Looking back, did you ever think this(rapping) is what you were gonna be doing?
FL: Nah man, not in a million years. This wasn't remotely what I thought.
MR: Who would you love to work with that you still haven't had the chance to?
FL: A lot of people man. I wanna just keep makin' music.
MR: Did The Neptunes produce the whole album?
FL: Nah they produced like 80% of the album. I got some songs from Lil Jon. I got 1 from David Banner, and a couple others.
MR: Who in hiphop are you feeling right now?
FL: Jay-Z, G-Unit, a lot of old school stuff too.
MR: Ok, so you got this Trainango album dropping March 2004, any last words from Fam*Lay?
FL: Go cop the album and show your support!